Places and Times

Places and Times

Mapping the interior terrain
Baljinder Sekhon
Dave Gerhart
Los Angeles Percussion Quartet
Dieter Hennings
McCormick Percussion Group
Robert McCormick
Eunmi Ko
Line Upon Line Percussion
Catalog Number: 
new classical

Tampa, FL

Release Date: 
Apr 27, 2018
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Places & Times is a collection of sonorous landmarks and magical moments; percussion ensemble works that are as compelling as they are mysterious. It is also a record of some of the ways in which life and art might share a journey. Composer and percussionist Baljinder Sekhon, with a doctorate from Eastman and currently teaching at the University of South Florida, has brought together three fine percussion ensembles to present his exhilarating vision: Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, McCormick Percussion Group, and Line Upon Line Percussion.

Three of the works on the album feature solo instruments with ensemble: steel pan (Dave Gerhart), guitar (Dieter Hennings), and piano (Eunmi Ko). The combinations afford a wide range of possibilities, from the aggressive noise of a cymbal on piano strings, and peaceful meditations created by finger cymbals gently buzzing on a vibraphone, to the curious thump of a person falling onto a bass drum.

Death Is an Adviser is one of a series of works modeled after the shamanistic philosophies described by anthropologist Carlos Castaneda in his writings about being an apprentice to the sorcerer Don Juan Matus in the 1960s.

Sekhon writes: “I have been heavily influenced by the teachings of Don Juan, specifically those found in the book Journey to Ixtlan. “Death Is an Adviser” is a chapter from the book that deals with the awareness of death and how such awareness advises our decision-making in life. The movement titles each have double meanings, which reflect both the philosophy that inspired the piece and the compositional process. I am interested in finding ways for my creative work as a composer and other life activities to intersect and become the same. For this piece, in an effort to work and spend time with my family at once, my daughters and wife drew numbers from a hat to determine pitch orderings, durations, and contour. After selecting numbers for pitch and duration, and combining them, we’d run to the piano to play it and hear how it turned out – we made a game out of it.”